Crude oil seen weaker as API estimates show surprise stocks build

U.S. two-dollar billsPhoto by Leslie Shaffer

Crude oil prices may ease on Wednesday in Asia after the American Petroleum Institute (API) released estimates of weekly U.S. crude and refined product stocks that showed a surprise build in oil, while a stronger dollar also weighed.

API reported an inventory build of 3.66 million barrels last week, against expectations for a draw of 2.667 million barrels. Refinery crude runs rose by 199,000 barrels per day (bpd), API data showed.

Gasoline stocks fell by 1.6 million barrels and distillate inventories rose by 1.9 million barrels, compared with a 895,000 barrel build in heating oil inventories and a 833,000 barrels decline in gasoline supplies forecast.

In the U.S., the Energy Information Administration reports official data on Wednesday at 10:30 am U.S. EDT.

In U.S. markets, futures extended losses in post-settlement trade on the data and as the dollar index touched its highest since late June 2017. The dollar index was last quoted at 96.55, up 0.41 percent. A stronger dollar makes greenback-denominated oil more expensive for holders of other currencies.

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